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NBA players consolidate lawsuits

The players’ antitrust suit against the league to be heard in a Minnesota courtroom

Some of the hardwood’s biggest stars have shifted their high-flying act from the basketball court to a court of law. After filing a pair of antitrust lawsuits against the National Basketball Association (NBA) in separate states, NBA players decided to double-team the owners by consolidating their suits, and picking Minnesota as the preferred venue.

The plaintiffs in Carmelo Anthony, et al v. NBA et al, including Anthony, Kevin Durant and Steve Nash, filed the amended lawsuit yesterday. The players withdrew their other lawsuit, which was filed Nov. 15 in California.

According to the players’ attorney, David Boies, the move is intended to expedite the process. The initial court date in California was March 9, 2012, but Boies hopes the consolidated suit will receive a court date sometime in December.

Another reason for the shift to Minnesota is that the state has been friendly to the National Football League in its recent labor disputes.

The NBA, however, was critical of the move.

“This is consistent with Mr. Boies’ inappropriate shopping for a forum that he can only hope will be friendlier to his baseless legal claims,” Rick Buchanan, NBA executive vice president and general counsel, said in a report.

Countering the players, the NBA filed a lawsuit of its own in the Southern District of New York—a venue historically friendly to the NBA. According to the Associated Press, the owners may attempt to move the Minnesota case to their preferred venue.

Last week, the players dissolved their union after rejecting the owners’ final labor agreement proposal. The dissolution of the National Basketball Players Association paved the way for the players’ lawsuit.

For more, read USA Today.

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